What can a grenade pouch be used for? Decades ago grenade pouches use to be attached to ALICE M16 magazine pouches, but not anymore. Now, grenade pouches come in an assortment of colors and can be attached anywhere you have MOLLE webbing. This means a MOLLE grenade pouch can be attached anywhere from the shoulder straps of a military surplus three day assault pack to a load bearing harness. As nice as they are, what can grenade pouches be used for?
When the question of grenade pouches first came up I ordered a couple of them off Ebay. At first glance they look like the old style ALICE compass pouch, just with MOLLE webbing and shaped a little different. The grenade pouch is also a little wider than the old ALICE compass pouch. This means whatever fit nicely in the compass pouch was going to fit loose in the grenade pouch. Most people these days see ALICE gear as an outdated relic, and for the most part it is. However, there are some old school diehards who still use ALICE packs, so the comparison between the compass pouch and grenade pouch were included in this article.
What will and will not fit in a grenade pouch?
To answer that question an assortment of gear was rounded up and tried in the pouch. Hopefully this will give the reader an idea of what the grenade pouch can be used for before he or she buys some.
One of my first ideas was a survival fishing kit. To test this out I went through my fishing gear to find the two smallest containers in my collection. This was a small survival fishing kit bought off Ebay, and a Plano 6 compartment Prolatch Stowaway. The survival fishing kit was too wide and too long for the grenade pouch. The Plano 6 compartment Stowaway from a little too long.
For a Plano fishing box to fit in the grenade pouch it would have to be no longer than around around three and a half inches. Unfortunately the smallest Plano fishing tackle boxes I found were around four and five eights inches long. So if the reader were able to find a fishing kit that measured around 3 inches long, and 3 inches wide, and 1 inch deep, it would probably fit nicely into a grenade pouch.
First Aid Kit
The next idea for a grenade pouch was some kind of first aid kit / first aid supplies. Rather than trying to figure out full first aid kit to fit in the grenade pouch just bandages were considered. Why just bandages? Because they are a good all around first aid item.
In the 1990s I bought a first aid dressing from a GI Surplus store in Beaumont, Texas. Over the past 25+ years the bandage was kept in a ALICE compass pouch, and it fit quit nicely. Remember earlier in the article were we discussed the grenade pouch being fatter than the ALICE compass pouch? Well, it seems you can fit two military surplus bandages in the grenade pouch as compared to one bandage in the ALICE compass pouch.
The bandage used for this article is the 6510-00-083-5573 by Elwyn company of Pennsylvania. The bandage measures 4 inches X 6 1/4 to 7 1/4 inches long. The package measures 2 1/2 inches wide, 4 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inches wide.
If someone wanted to mix and match, the bandage and a map compass both fit nicely into the grenade pouch. However, one danger is when you buckle the pouch you are pressing on the glass of the compass.
An altoids tin with some small first aid items such as tape, alcohol prep pads and tweezers fits nicely with the US GI bandage. This is probably the best combination I have found for a grenade pouch first aid kit.
Navigation GPS and Compass
After the introduction of smart phones with built in location, Google Maps and Google Earth there seems to be a migration away from classic handheld GPS. One time my brother asked me, Why can’t my GPS do what my phone can do?” He was referring to Google Earth and Google Maps. I told something along the lines of, “I do not know, it seems that GPS companies can not keep up with the times.”
Even though the navigation features in smart phones are a wonderful feature, some of us like to use more than one, and in some cases more than two or three navigational aids. In my case I use TOPO maps, compass, Etrex GPS and smart phone.
So will an Etrx GPS and compass fit in a grenade pouch? Yes they will. The Etrx GPS is around an inch narrower than the grenade pouch which means it moves around a good bit. The Etrex at its widest point measures around 2 1/4 inches. In the pouch the GPS has around an inch of slack on one side, so around 1/2 inch on each side.
The map compass I use measures 2 3/8 inches wide, 4 inches long and around 11/16 inches thick.
Even though the GPS and compass have some lack in the grenade pouch there does not seem to be a lot of rattle.
Point and Shoot Camera
Will a point and shoot camera fit in a grenade pouch, and the answer is yes.
Three different cameras were tried:
Fujifilm FinePix XP 120 – which I can not recommend as most of the pictures from this camera are blurry.
Canon PowerShot SD780 – an old point and shoot camera that gives good pictures. There is a lot of slack in the grenade pouch with this camera, but the good news is bandage listed above will also fit in the pouch with the camera. When snapping the pouch closed you are also pushing on either the lens or the viewfinder. I feel this setup works best when the lens against the bandage, of the bandage between the snap and the camera.
Canon PowerShot D10 – This is an older waterproof camera, but it fits in the grenade pouch.
There are some good combinations for a grenade pouch, such as the altoids tin with bandage, GPS with map compass, point and shoot camera, or map compass and bandage.